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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Insect Genetics and Biochemistry Research » Research » Research Project #428476

Research Project: Cryopreservation of Bee Germplasm Research

Location: Insect Genetics and Biochemistry Research

Project Number: 3060-21000-041-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Mar 15, 2015
End Date: Jan 6, 2020

Objective 1. Develop means for long-term storage of bee germplasm, including cryopreservation of embryos. [NP 305, Component 2, Problem Statements 2A, 2B, 2C] Objective 2: Develop storage technologies for cryopreservation of insect germplasm (e.g., for screwworms, honey bees, moths, and tephritid fruit flies) and low-temperature storage of solitary pollinators. [NP304, Component 3, Problem Statements 3A2 and 3B2] Objective 3: Isolate biomarkers to monitor diapause development in managed solitary pollinators and to measure population diversity of economically important species (such as solitary bee pollinators and Lygus). [NP304, Components 1 and 3, Problem Statements 1A, 1C, and 3A2] Objective 4: For economically important species (such as tephritid fruit flies, screwworms, honey bees and solitary bee pollinators), develop quality control biomarkers through the characterization of sub-lethal effects (developmental and physiological) resulting from storage. [NP304, Component 3, Problem Statements 3A2 and 3B2]

Pollinating insects are important to the U.S. agricultural economy, contributing an estimated $16 billion to annual crop production. This critical component is currently at risk due to a dramatic decrease in managed and native pollinators, and will face additional challenges due to climate change in the future. Despite this importance, there is no organized germplasm biorepository (genebank) for bees. This project will develop protocols that support the establishment of a National Bee Germplasm Repository. Specifically, the project will focus on: 1) the development of an improved protocol for the cryopreservation of bee spermatozoa, 2) the development of a novel protocol for the cryopreservation of bee embryos, and 3) the development of a protocol for the in vitro rearing of embryos after storage into reproductively viable adults. This research will ultimately result in the preservation of elite and genetically diverse pollinator strains, the development of a cryogenically-based system for the safe importation of bee germplasm, and the systematic delivery of high-quality germplasm and insects to end users.